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Forget New York. Florida Is Now Home to Some of the Most Expensive Neighborhoods in the US.

Wealthy homebuyers are flocking to the Sunshine State, where real estate values have reached record highs.  

star island miami Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Even before the pandemic, Florida was a magnet for millionaires eager to purchase a tax-friendly retreat. Now, as more high-net-worth homebuyers head further south, the Sunshine State has become home to some of the country’s priciest neighborhoods.  

While cities within New York and California have historically ranked amongst the wealthiest enclaves in America, real estate values in certain areas of Florida have now surpassed these zip codes, Bloomberg reported. According to data from Zillow, the average price for a single-family home on Miami’s Star Island was valued at a whopping $40.2 million as of December, a 70 percent increase from 2019 and 2022. For context, that’s more than twice as much as Port Royal in Naples, which clocked in at $16.9 million, but still takes second place. Meanwhile, home values in regions of California, including Cathedral Hill, Mission Dolores and South of Market, to name a few, have actually declined.

This trend has been exacerbated by uber-rich professionals who have made the move from urban areas such as the Upper East Side or San Francisco’s Nob Hill to sunnier pastures. More specifically, they’re following in the footsteps of hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin. If you recall, the Citadel founder moved his company from Chicago to the Magic City and has since scooped up five properties for a total of $194 million.

“Miami Beach used to be this place you come a few days to party, get some sun and get out,” Dina Goldentayer, executive director of sales at Douglas Elliman, told Bloomberg. “Now it’s the place to live. It’s the lifestyle, weather, economic policies, political policies. Everyone wants to come here.” 

naples florida
Neighborhoods in Florida are outranking wealthy cities in New York and California. Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The report also noted that out of the 50 million-dollar US neighborhoods with the largest price gains in the last three years, 38 of them are in Florida. Meaning that even parts of the state that aren’t traditionally known as hot spots for the ultra-elite are seeing home prices double—Tampa included.

“I don’t see the underlying fundamentals of why we’ve seen buyers come here going away, even though Covid restrictions have eased,” added Tim Savage, owner of Gulf Coast International Properties in Naples. “Once that switch got flipped, I don’t know how you put it back in the box.” 

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